Italy player ratings: Ange Capuozzo, forwards shine in Six Nations defeat to France

David Skippers
Ange Capuozzo Italy v France SN 2023 - PA.jpg

After their 29-24 Six Nations defeat to France at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, here’s how the Italy team performed on Sunday.

15 Ange Capuozzo: Another brilliant attacking performance from the Toulouse man. He was a constant threat with ball in hand and was rewarded with a well-taken try in the first half. Capuozzo finished with 122 metres gained which is more than any other player in this match. 8/10

14 Pierre Bruno: One of the Azzurri players who grew in confidence as the game progressed after a shaky start when he made some defensive errors. Impressed on attack, especially in the second half and eventually gained 49 metres. 6

13 Juan Ignacio Brex: Put in a brave all-round display in midfield and asked some questions of his opponents with some fine runs. Finished with 91 metres gained from 14 runs. 7

12 Luca Morisi: Combined brilliantly with Brex when Italy launched their fightback in the second half and made his mark with some good runs but also did well on defence. Eventually finished on 80 metres with 12 tackles completed. 8

11 Tommaso Menoncello: The young flyer had several attacking opportunities but usually found several defenders on top of him in a flash, which meant he made little headway. Made 39 metres from five runs but was quiet on defence. 6

10 Tommaso Allan: The Harlequins player gave a good account of himself with his general play and kept his team in the match with his goal-kicking, although he missed a crucial penalty late in the second half. 6

9 Stephen Varney: Made some mistakes during the opening period, one of them which proved costly as Thibaud Flament charged down an attempted clearance from him before regathering and crossing for the opening try. Although he put that setback behind him, he was more of a link to his outside backs and offered little on attack. Replaced on 75 minutes. 6

Massive shift from the pack

8 Lorenzo Cannone: Italy’s forwards laid a good platform for their backs as they met the French onslaught head on and the number eight was at the forefront of that effort. Impressed on attack, gaining 47 metres, defended well with nine tackles and also won a turnover. 7

7 Michele Lamaro: The Italian skipper led his troops well and put in a solid all-round performance. Impressed on attack, gaining 46 metres from 12 runs, and as a defender where he completed 10 tackles. 7

6 Sebastian Negri: One of the Azzurri’s star performers, the Benetton man emptied the tank as a ball carrier and took the fight to Les Bleus with some barnstorming runs. Finished with 60 metres gained from 15 carries and also made nine tackles. 8

5 Federico Ruzza: Another one of Italy’s forwards who put in a huge effort during an 80-minute shift. Ruzza was in the thick of the action from the outset, getting stronger as the match wore on and was prominent as a ball carrier, in the lineouts and on defence. 8

4 Niccolo Cannone: Although he carried manfully, the older of the Cannone brothers did not make big inroads in that department but it was a different matter on defence as he finished with a team-high 16 hits made. 7

3 Simone Ferrari: Impressed in the execution of his core duties, especially his scrummaging which was solid throughout and he was also superb on defence as he finished with 10 hits made. 8

2 Giacomo Nicotera: Another fine showing from the 26-year-old who is improving with every outing. Caught the eye with some fine carries and also shone on defence as he completed 14 tackles. 8

1 Danilo Fischetti: Like the rest of the pack, he played well during his stint on the field as he made his mark with solid scrummaging and a lively display with ball in hand and when defending as he finished with 46 metres gained and nine tackles made. 8

Replacements: Although most of the Azzurri’s reserves came on during the game’s latter stages, none of them really stood out and did not maintain the standards of the players they replaced. 5

READ MORE: France player ratings: Antoine Dupont and Gael Fickou impress in narrow Six Nations win over Italy